No to a Military Intervention in South America
by Alberto Barlocci.
Eleven countries of the Lima Group, which follows with concern the crisis in the Caribbean country, have firmly rejected this possibility. In the meantime, the reception of Venezuelans who emigrate continues
The situation in Venezuela continues to worry the governments of the region, particularly those known as the “Lima Group”, fourteen countries that are closely following the economic, political and institutional crisis in Venezuela and are also willing to intervene in ways that can help to overcome it. However, they firmly reject the possibility of a military intervention.
It would be difficult to justify such an intervention, despite the violations of fundamental rights that have occurred in the country during these years, but that are not dissimilar to those that occurred in Honduras, Nicaragua and Cuba, or with serious problems of legitimacy, as in the case of Brazil. To intervene militarily, it is necessary to establish such a situation internally that it requires, among other things, a UN resolution. Therefore, it seems logical that eleven of the fourteen members of the Lima Group have expressed their “concern and rejection of any action or statement that would imply a military intervention in Venezuela”. Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia signed the declaration, to which the Colombian Government did not subscribe.
The statement issued over the weekend, is in response to the statements of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, who, during a brief conversation with the press in Colombia, said that – in the case of a possible military intervention to remove President Nicolás Maduro – “no option should be ruled out”.
The reaction from Caracas has not been long in coming and diplomatic initiatives are announced towards Almagro in the UN and in other international fora. Relations between the Venezuelan government and the Secretary General of the OAS have been on a collision course for some time. For Almagro, a Uruguayan and a member of the centre-left coalition that governs the small South American country, the Maduro regime is responsible for breaking the democratic order as well as having practically neutralized the voices of the opposition, since the Constituent Assembly has undermined the legitimate parliament. Instead of drafting the new constitution as provided for in the referendum, it now functions as ordinary legislator. Almagro also speaks of the crimes against humanity. A powerful message that, perhaps, should be based only on independent and unbiased information that has been checked.
Despite the difficult relationships with Caracas, countries such as Chile, Colombia and Peru, also members of the Lima Group, have set no limits to the arrival in their territory of Venezuelans who leave their country affected by a severe economic crisis and an inflation now out of control. It is estimated that more than 414 thousand Venezuelans have officially arrived in Peru in the last 3 and a half months. Between 800 thousand and 1 million have entered Colombia, while more than 147 thousand have entered Chile. None of the three countries, despite disagreements with Caracas on the political level, has questioned the reception of migrants. More recently, the Peruvian government has pointed out that first of all “solidarity” is in order.